Vice President Dan Quayle has become the administration advocate for the strategic defense concept known as "brilliant pebbles," a method of seeding outer space with satellites that track and destroy missiles.

In a speech Thursday to the Navy League of the United States, Quayle stressed the relatively small size, comparative low cost and fast schedule for development of the satellites.Cost, complexity and pace of development are among the issues raised by critics of the Star Wars program.

"In short, if tests of the brilliant pebbles concept show the promise that is expected, it could revolutionize much of our thinking about strategic defense," Quayle said in his speech.

The brilliant pebbles technology relies on thousands of small satellites that would float freely in space, tracking incoming missiles and destroying them by colliding with them.